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Cyclones have a positive effect on the ability of mangroves to soak up carbon dioxide: Study


Tropical storms, in the last 21 years, have had an overall positive impact on the ability of mangroves in India to fix carbon dioxide, a key climate-warming greenhouse gas, said a study. Researchers at the department of geography at the University of Georgia in the United States looked at how mangrove productivity or carbon assimilation (indicated by Gross Primary Productivity) had changed over 21 years and if tropical cyclone frequency or intensity played a role in this trend. The driving motivation was to explore the resilience of mangroves in India by looking at how storms have impacted Gross Primary Productivity in the past.

They examined satellite-datasets of Gross Primary Productivity for seven mangrove sites along the east and west coasts of India, from January 2000 to July 2020, finding that there is a net increase in Gross Primary Productivity for all mangrove sites, and especially for the east coast mangroves which are more frequently hit by cyclones compared to the west coast.

“It (cyclone) make conditions suitable for growth and carbon uptake if recovery time is adequate post a cyclone event. For example, if dry conditions persist, a cyclone can temporarily provide relief from the drought stress, replenish soil moisture levels, bring in nutrients and…

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